Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Whale That Almost Spoke

A beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass, Flickr.

Joel Kontinen

A beluga whale known as NOC has recently become a celebrity, five years after its death, for its ability to mimic human speech.

NOC lived most of its life in captivity. A paper published in the journal Current Biology acknowledges that the whale was not as clever in imitating humans as parrots are.

However, NOC’s articulation differed somewhat from that of the average beluga whale, prompting evolutionists to write a research paper on it.

It seems that the motive behind the whale tale was the desire of evolutionists to show that the gulf separating humans and animals is not as unbridgeable as was assumed. But in the real world, only humans can speak like humans. Even a linguist has difficulty in deciphering NOC’s ”speech”.


Callaway, Ewen. 2012. The whale that talked: Captive beluga was able to mimic speech (sort of). Nature News (22 October). The article has an accompanying recording of how NOC “spoke”.